USA Today is breaking down the top five questions that loom over each NFL team. Yesterday, the national news outlet took a stab at the Denver Broncos.
From questioning whether or not John Elway can help his old team get back to a place of prominence to asking if Tim Tebow can take over Kyle Orton’s job, USA Today tackled the major issues that face the Broncos.
The question that stands out the most to me is “Can the Broncos restore their home field advantage?”
There was once a time when a trip to Denver and its high altitude resulted in a near-certain loss for visitors. Since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, the Pittsburgh Steelers are the only franchise with more regular-season home victories than the Broncos. Sure, a formidable team matters: When the Broncos had perfect home records for three consecutive seasons at Mile High Stadium during the 1990s, Elway was the quarterback, and the team was putting together back-to-back Super Bowl title runs. Lately, the home mark at INVESCO Field has matched the team’s struggles overall. The past five years, the Broncos are a mere 20-20 on their home turf, including a 3-5 mark in 2010. Chances are, however, that until Denver becomes strong enough to win a large share of its road games, too, the mystique of Mile High won’t offer much of a decided advantage. – USA Today
With a poor showing at home in the past few seasons, teams are no longer as afraid to step into the Mile High air. That’s certainly not a reflection of the fans and their support. It’s about the team itself. They haven’t been able to win consistently at home or on the road.
Despite their recent struggles at home, ESPN recently named Invesco Field at Mile High the 12th toughest NFL stadium to play in.
Many have said that the old Mile High Stadium was a completely different environment than what Invesco is today. Merely a parking lot removed, Invesco hasn’t seen the success or rowdiness that Mile High saw. On September 10, Invesco Field will turn 10 years old.
As we enter a new decade for the stadium, let this anniversary spark something within the team – perhaps a desire to bring back the old Mile High magic.